(ESPN RUMOR) Potential Coaching Moves

Submitted by robbyt003 on November 24th, 2013 at 5:14 PM

LINK ($$$)

 Following the Wolverines' loss to Iowa on Saturday in which it was outgained 407 yards to 158 by the Hawkeyes and blew a 21-7 halftime lead, Michigan is 7-4 and Brady Hoke is approaching hot-seat territory. Some coaches I spoke with this week said, at the very least, he will likely have to part ways with offensive coordinator Al Borges. (If Michigan does open again, either this year or next, one trusted college football source suggested that LSU coach Les Miles could finally head home to his alma mater. “I’ll bet that’s where he goes and retires,” the source said.)

Mods feel free to delete if you think it's too much info from a paywalled article.  



November 25th, 2013 at 12:39 AM ^

Just making a point Borges is responsible for calling the plays AND coaching the QB. He keeps calling WTF plays and putting the team in bad down and distances. You should also call plays that play to the teams strengths...and he is not doing that all the time either.

Sure devin makes some mistakes but they should be corrected by coaching, which Al Borges is responsible for. Also why dont you try and get sacked 20 times in 4 weeks and see how well you throw the ball and make decisions. 

MI Expat NY

November 24th, 2013 at 9:23 PM ^

You act like Borges has zero responsibility for any of that.  Who is developing offensive talent?  Who is giving the players a system to flourish in? Who is coaching the QB that has so dramatically regressed from last year's darling to this year's tire fire?  You can say there are talent issues limiting offensive performance.  That's true.  What you can't say is that the offensive coaching staff is blameless for what's being put on the field these days.


November 25th, 2013 at 7:45 AM ^

A little inside info.  It doesn't matter how good your players are when the other team knows the play and beats them to the spot.  Al Borges is probably a great human being, but this year has been terrible and if you don't think that he has a brutal year calling plays you simply are refusing to see that a change has to be made.  I get so sick of hearing about the inexperience on our Oline.  Alabama had a young line coming into this year as well.  You know what?  They are still going to the national titile game again.  Our coaches don't develop talent on offence and as a coach that is the one aspect that you have to do. 

Blue Mike

November 24th, 2013 at 9:03 PM ^

How about on first and goal from the two (and again from the one) when Borges calls for the extra heavy set to try to pound the ball in the endzone, even though we haven't been able to make positive yardage running the ball without spreading it out all year.  And then, when they get the gift of a penalty on a play that lost 4 yards, he calls the exact same play, and gets the same result.  

You list all of the things outside of Borges' control that play a part in why our offense is so bad, but isn't his job to adjust, work around those limitations and make something work?  All he does is try the same stuff all the time, regardless of their success.  When he does try something different (like a bubble screen) and it works, he doesn't go back to it.  


November 24th, 2013 at 11:19 PM ^

Acting as though only negative things can happen with the ball in his hands is ridiculous. He has been inconsistent, that doesn't mean he hasn't done any positive things.

The funny thing is when they did put the ball in his hands later in the game at the goalline they did score a td. Putting the ball in the hands of somebody who has accounted for 27 tds is the better alternative than running behind a horrible o-line.

Keep posting nonsense though.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

Statistically it's still better than RR's first two offenses (really, it's better in Fremeau than even '09) and I think there's general agreement that Rodriguez's problems didn't include offensive playcalling.


November 24th, 2013 at 7:45 PM ^

Also mutiple games of negative rushing yardage. Find me the last Michigan team who could claim those awful stats and I will agree they aren't historically bad. Though I guess I should have said historically bad in certain aspects to more precise.



November 24th, 2013 at 7:49 PM ^

There's no doubt the line play's been terrible--can't get off a combo block to the second level, can't pass protect worth a damn, have to resort to high-school-level protections and can't even get those right most of the time--and there have been a ton of negative-yardage plays. Somehow, despite that awfulness, the offense still grades out above average nationally, and better than either of Rodriguez's first two seasons.

Somebody must be doing something right somewhere.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:07 PM ^

of outliers though. The stats put up Indiana's beyond awful defense being the most obvious.The offense has generated one legimate td drive, without the aid of defensive turnover, in the last 4 games. This offense has been every bit as bad as the 2008 offense in the last 4 games.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:33 PM ^

However, you're comparing apples to oranges. That was the first year with a brand new offensive system and different expectation level in general.

Also, despite Gardner's turnover and confidence issues he is far more talented than either Threet and Sheridan were in 2008. Gallon and Funchess are also a better receiving combo than the 2008 team had.

Also I would like to point out that the 2008 team averaged 3.9 yards per carry, this team is at 3.3 or so. That is pretty damning by itself, though some of that is sacks.


November 24th, 2013 at 9:58 PM ^

took away Devin's 27 tds, which is twice as many as anybody else. Keep bagging on the guy though.

If you took a minute to get your head out your ass, you would realize that despite his deficiencies in certain areas Devin has been one of the few consistent playmakers on this entire offense all season.

You know what though keep shifting all the blame away from Al, who is grown man paid to be an OC, to berate a college player who has been battered and bruised all season while being asked to be the entire offense. Real classy.


November 24th, 2013 at 10:29 PM ^

hey, i get you don't like all the negativity towards the coaches. cool, admirable even. but addressing it with counter negative posts is even more depressing.

keep doing what you want -- but keep in mind, blaming a college fb player, a kid, for everything is classless. his coaches are responsible for preparing him and deciding if he should go out there and play. and if not, it's their job to have a no. 2 at the ready. 


November 24th, 2013 at 8:57 PM ^

That team had much more experience on the offensive line. Probably not as talented, when finally developed, but better in the moment.

Of course that team also had a horrible hole left at QB, so it was terrible in its own way. Worse than this one, unless you decide to compare the particular statistics that emphasize this team's particular weakness.

Here's a list of all FBS teams with lines as inexperenced as Michigan this year:

  • UCLA
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Wake Forest
  • Eastern Michigan
  • Western Kentucky
  • Tulane
  • Maryland
  • Arkansas

Great set of peers, huh? I think that group's now 27 games below .500.

There's been a series of diaries lately, with at least three different authors, demonstrating that experience matters most on the interior and not the tackles. (I don't think any of the authors expected that result, and certainly not as strong a result as they got, but that's what the data showed.) On the interior Michigan is the third youngest line in the country.

What we're seeing now is what happens when you don't bother to recruit offensive linemen for a couple of years. If you've got a first-rounder like Hundley at QB you have at least some chance of not being a tire fire. Otherwise you look like Idaho and Cal. Thankfully our second years are better than theirs and our fire isn't burning quite as brightly.

Blue Mike

November 24th, 2013 at 9:17 PM ^

Looking at that group of "peers", Arkansasis 26th in the country in rushing, Western Kentucky is 33rd, UCLA is 37th.  In fact, everyone on that list except Cal and Wake have rushed for more yards than Michigan this year.  Apparently experience on the OL is only damning for us.

Hmmm.... who does that point to as being the problem?

coastal blue

November 25th, 2013 at 6:40 AM ^

You are dumb. Michigan returned one starter in 2008. Steve Schilling. That's it. They had one solid position group because of Brandon Minor. Again keep fighting for an opinion that is idiotic because you are one of those dumb people who has to argue no matter what.

Edit: This is obviously in response to Yeoman. 

coastal blue

November 24th, 2013 at 8:20 PM ^

The fact that the 2008 offense is similar in many areas statistically despite having a fraction of the talent and experience that this offense does is damning. Even in 2009 we battled line injuries all year (Molk especially) and started a true freshman QB. But yes, keep fighting whatever it is you are fighting. 


November 24th, 2013 at 8:43 PM ^

Similar in many areas statistically. Almost as good, if you compare their best games to this team's worst.

That team was bad because it lacked experience and had no QB. This team is bad because it lacks experience at positions where expereince is especially important. That team was even worse than this one because the problems were more extensive.

It wasn't hard to figure out then and it isn't hard to figure out now, if you don't have an axe to grind.

coastal blue

November 25th, 2013 at 5:47 AM ^

You are dumb. This must be emphasized because it is true. Truly stupid. I say this not to be mean because it is a fact. That offense's worst game would not compare to this offenses worst game. The lows for this offense are singularly bad and they are doing so with more exprience and more talent.

In the mind of an idiot like you (again, no offense) having two top 200 rs freshmen recruits is somehow massively worse than random walkons and 2/3 -star sophomores that other teams roll out and perform much better with every weekend.


November 24th, 2013 at 8:55 PM ^

You are comparing Borges's 3rd year to RR's first two years.  Does that sound like a fair comparison?  Borges's should have planned better for the lack of experience.  At least RR's offense improved in year 3.


November 24th, 2013 at 11:49 PM ^

The roster problem in '08 was immediate; the problem in '11 was a ticking time bomb set to go off two years later. There wasn't a solution for it because, since it doesn't seem to be possible to bring in transfers in large numbers at Michigan, we could only fill the holes with high school players and, with very rare exceptions, it takes some time for offensive linemen to develop into capable players. More time than we had before the bomb went off, unfortunately. Good thing Lewan stayed or it would have been even worse.

It's probably true that using a different scheme might have made for a better offense this year. It's also probably true that Rodriguez might have had a better first year if he'd found a way to make up with Mallett and ran a pro-style offense.

Which I think would have been stupid, even if it had turned 3-9 into 9-3. He had longer term goals--installing his own offense--that transcended any immediate need for wins.

There are schemes that minimize the importance of line play. We could be Indiana this year if we wanted. Actually I'm not sure we have the wide-receiver talent to pull it off but it would probably be a little better than what we have. And then next year we'd face the same choice--be Indiana again or make the transition?--and when we never got around to running the offense players were told they'd be running when we recruited them, well, that would probably be the end of the good recruiting.


Chris S

November 25th, 2013 at 11:46 PM ^

"Which I think would have been stupid, even if it had turned 3-9 into 9-3. He had longer term goals--installing his own offense--that transcended any immediate need for wins."


Agree 100%. I prefer RR's spread style of play, but now that we have Hoke, I think Michigan's best bet is to let it play out. The thing that makes me the most disappointed, though, is it almost feels like we are wasting one of the best athletes (Gardner) we've ever had. Imagine thenumbers he'd put up/plays he would make in an Indiana offense.

coastal blue

November 25th, 2013 at 6:38 AM ^

You are dumb. Here is the stretch that matters, that idiots like yourself cannot explain away:

1-3 (on a miracle last second field goal).

208 YPG in regluation.

10.5 PPG in regulation.

3 games with under 200 yards of offense.

In 2008, there was NEVER a stretch like this. Al Borges has sunk a team with far more talent to a lower place than that offense. Its incredible that people like you are somehow trying to make a point that he isn't the problem or should - again, incredibly - stay on as OC. 

You are an idiot. The people like you are idiots. Its really that simple. 


November 25th, 2013 at 1:12 PM ^

Actually - it WAS better than RR's first two offense... before Iowa.


It's quite likely going to be worse than at least 2009, and possibly 2008 after iowa is added in - never mind the drop we'll likely see after next weekend.



November 24th, 2013 at 6:53 PM ^

During the RR years I saw very few people trying to defend the Gerg defenses.

Actually, the vast majority of people here - Brian included - defended GERG until about the PSU game, at which point it was clear that some kind of staff change was going to happen.  There was an article in the 2010 preview entitled "Decimated Defense" that argued that inexperience was the main culprit.  ("Have you read 'Decimated Defense'?" was a common refrain around here.)  

Most fans will instinctively defend their coach until things get really bad.   That's not  necessarily a bad thing.  Fans should generally give coaches a chance when they're hired.  Judge them after they've accummulated a body of work.


November 24th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

Author of article speaks to "some coaches".  Who are the coaches?  Why is it believable?  Where did the coaches get their info from?

That all said, I'm totally on board with parting ways with Borges.  Our defense is currently good but not great (potential to be great next year with what we have coming back), and it's pretty clear that our issues lie on offense (and, to a lesser extent, special teams).

As far as I know (which isn't very far), he doesn't play a large role (if any) in recruiting, so I would expect the damage to Hoke's top recruiting class will be minimal.

angry byrne

November 24th, 2013 at 5:23 PM ^

At this moment, I have to believe that overhauling the offensive side of the ball is more than enough.  Recruiting is solid, defense has been good (not great this year, but steady over the past three and the defensive staff have a very good track record).  Getting rid of Hoke this year or even next year would only create the same problem that the last early firing created.  The team needs stability--Just get someone who can develop offensive personnel and call plays that make sense.